Social media is a powerful tool in the quest to get leads – if it’s executed well. In fact, The 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report reveals that 14% of all leads and 13% of all customers are delivered via social media; eMarketer reports that 90% of all companies use social media in some form.
However, it’s a good bet the majority of those companies are making at least a couple mistakes that that are reducing the effectiveness of their efforts. Here are the top six mistakes that can sabotage your social media efforts:
- No social media or content strategy: More than 225 years ago, Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” His advice is just as important today as it was then. Before jumping into social media as a way to connect with prospects, you need a formal content strategy. This document will outline 1) your best prospects; 2) the social media platforms they’re on; 3) what topics and content you’re going to communicate and promote; 4) a timing calendar of engagement; and 5) the image and positioning you’re going to present. This is the type of preparation that will help you avoid failure.
- Thinking it’s all about you: While it’s true social media can give just about anyone their 15 minutes of fame, from a company perspective it shouldn’t be all about you. Prospects are not on social media to find out more about you (or any other company) – they’re on it to get insight and find solutions to challenges. Avoid making every comment a sales pitch; instead, adopt the 60/30/10 rule of social media engagement: post 60% third-party information (like links to industry articles), 30% blog content (linking to your and others’ blog posts), and 10% direct offers of content.
- One person handling all social media: Your organization’s value and voice is made up of more than a single person, and so should your social media. Include leadership, marketing, sales, and even operations in your social media engagement rotation so each can share a dimension of your company.
- Trying to make social media like TV or radio: Social media platforms are not just another outlet to voice your advertising messages. Use social media to educate, provide a perspective and let your followers connect directly with you.
- Schizophrenic personality across platforms: Are you flashy on Facebook, witty on twitter and logical on LinkedIn? Feel free to modify your messages based on the platform but don’t confuse your followers with completely different presentation and engagement strategies. Make sure your true brand identity is reinforced consistently on each of your profiles.
- Focusing on quantity instead of quality: Too often, the number of followers and friends is used to gauge social media success. Those numbers mean nothing if they’re not the right followers – your best prospects – hearing the right message. Try to focus on engagement and ultimately converting those followers into customers.
Think you could use a little help making your social media efforts even more productive? Download our Social Media Optimization Playbook.